Saturday, 3 June 2006

Basic Chinese Herbs - Part I

In Chinese Culinary Culture, soup has been viewed as the soul and indispensable part of a prefect meal. Certain soup also have healing qualities such as: Pickled Cucumber Soup With Coriander and Century Egg heals sore throat. In my soup recipe blog I usually Long-stewed the soup with different combination of Chinese herbs which I found them very useful. So in this two pages, I would roughly display some of the common herbs and their usage for stewing soup.



Dried Cordyceps Stem(冬虫草茎)
Taste slightly sweet and of neutral nature, it nourishes the Ying, strengthens the lungs and kidney, benefits Qi and expels sputum. Eg: Chicken, Huai Shan & Cordyceps Soup

Dried Lotus Seeds(干蓮子)
It strengthen the Heart, Liver, Spleen and Kidneys and also energize the Qi and promote blood cell formation.

Dried Figs(无花果)
It is rich in vitamins A & C, proteins and fibers. It strengthens the Spleen, lubricates intestines and helps with dry cough and sore throat. There are two types of figs, fresh and dried. Dried figs are usually used to make soup. Eg: Stew Papaya & Peanuts Soup


Dried Sea Conch(响螺片)
Tastes sweet and of cold nature. It clears the livers, nourishes the lungs and benefits the organs. Those who suffer from weak Qi energy and anaemia will benefit a lot from Sea Conch Soup. Eg: Chicken Soup With Conch & Huai Shan & Conch & Sea Cucumber Soup


Dried Tangerine Peels(陈皮)
It is used in congee or soup which can help to expel and prevent Coldness, promote circulation of Qi, expel sputum and aids digestion.


Honey/Candied Dates(蜜枣)
It's sweet and usually used to enhance the favour of the soup.


Sha Shen(沙参)
It's naturally sweet and slightly cold which aids lungs to stomach and blood vessels. It also moistness lungs, stops coughing, grows saliva and stops thirst, slow down fever and coughing and also increase appetite.

Sweet & Bitter Almonds(南北杏)
Sweet almond tastes sweet and is of neutral nature. It does not carry any toxic element, and heals coughing. Bitter almond tastes bitter and is of warm nature. It carries slight trace of toxic but heals coughing and expels sputum. Mixing the two together will make a soup that clears the Heat, moistness internal Dryness and avoid coughing. Eg: Herbal Watercress Soup & Zhi Ke Tang - 止咳汤




Red Dates(红枣)
It is a blood tonic, that can be widely used with other ingredients to nourish the body. I used it in almost every herbal soup.

Gou Qizi(枸杞子)
It strengthens body and bones, supplements kidneys and energy, nurses liver and clarifies eyes. It also cultivates energy and aids yang bodies moistness lungs and stops coughing. Other than use it as a soup ingredient, it can be used as a condiment in frying dishes or used to make tea. Choose Qizi which are full and with bright colour. Posted by Picasa

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